how do I know if it's new or refurb???

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by tongteh, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. tongteh macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hello all. I did a search on this topic but couldn't find anything. I am getting my iPhone replace in a couple more days, the applecare service person said it will be a brand new iPhone 3G, but the thing is how would I know if she have sent a brand new or refurbishment to me??

    Any help would be much appreciated.
  2. ian-frs macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    There really isn't a way to tell if you get a refurb or a new one. If there are no problems with it then it is most likely a refurb. If there are any problems with it then its most likely new. Apple refurbs tend to pass a more thorough quality control standard.
  3. deimos256 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2008
    there are weekly threads on this, some telltale signs you have a refurb will be signs of previous ownership, some people have reported previous users itunes accounts still in the phone, there was a thread stating there was a way to tell with the serial number starting with 5 and there was another way however i dont really believe any of this
  4. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    From another thread, I read that if your serial number starts with 5K, then its refurbed.

    When I had mine replaced at an Apple Store, the model I got back was one with a serial number starting with 5K....

    The phone doesn't look used, it looked brand new and the genius said they were new and heavily tested. He said they were not refurbished....
  5. tongteh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2008
    so I am guessing till now there is no evidence of any way to tell whether it is new or refurbishment. :-(

    Even if the refurb. "may" be better but you will still want a brand new than a refurb. right??

    Any more knowledge about this topic is welcome.. ;) thank you.
  6. doodads macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2007
    East BF, TN
    The serial numbers for all three of the 1st gen. refurbs I bought began with 5K.
  7. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    When you get your replacement look it over for any cosmetic blemishes and test it out to see if it works properly. If you find anything wrong reject it on the spot until you get one you like--don't just pop it in your pocket look at it at home like a lot of people tend to do. What difference will it make if you get an absolutely perfect iphone that was refurbished?

    As for being able to tell the difference between a refurbished iphone vs. new -- if you search these threads you'll find volumes of directly contridictory claims and will only get yourself frustrated.
  8. Dreamer2go macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    I received a refurb ipod for replacement once.

    It was 100% brand new (look wise)
    No scratches, no dent.

    I think they changed the entire shell for you, and fixed the stuff on the inside to ensure maximum quality.
  9. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but if you can't tell if the phone is new or refurbished, then why does it even matter? :confused:
    A refurb doesn't mean they take any old phone and throw it in a box - they are fully evaluated and any substandard / damaged parts (internal or external) are replaced with new ones. IMO people are getting far too hung up on this whole new / refurb issue
  10. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    It really doesn't, because at the end of the day, if your iPhone isn't working right, just take it back and get another one.

    I bought a new one on 7/11 and had to replace it last week due to battery issues -- I got a "refurbed" model, but I don't care. It looks brand new to me.
  11. benflick macrumors 68020


    Jul 11, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Why do people even care?
    They replace the casing, and fix whatever needs to be done,so there is no difference...
  12. Brandon Heat macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2008
    people care cuz they truely love their device and to taint it with a refurb status carries with it a negative connotation...

    Even though if you weren't given a serial number you would never ever be able to tell a difference...

    There's a word for this, but I can't remember it...
  13. tongteh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2008
    thats exactly what i am talking about!! :) thanks for explaining it.. ;)

    if refurb. are really that great(in terms of hardware, case, and etc) then why not just buy a refurb. when there is a new product out by apple?
  14. Brandon Heat macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2008
    oh yeah I remember now... It's called being vain...
  15. AHDuke99 macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2002
    Charleston, SC
    I got mine replaced yesterday and got a 5k serial, but the guy swore that Apple is now using that number on new models too. It works so I guess that's all that matters, and I don't see any cosmetic issues at all. It looked and smelled new, so maybe it was.
  16. mcdj macrumors 604


    Jul 10, 2007
    In short;

    1. No one seems to know for sure, not even Apple employees.

    2. It doesn't really matter because refurbs, if they even exist, are often as good or better than new.

    3. Now can people stop asking? :)
  17. tongteh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2008
    i guess some of you just missed the point, i just want to know if there is a way to identify if it's refurb. or new.. ;)

    thanks for all the help till now though.. :)
  18. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    This is true. Cosmetically, refurbs are just like new, but physically, they work better.

    You choose......

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